Thursday, June 30, 2016

July SW Ohio Mantic Pathfinder News

Summer is here in all its hot, sticky glory.  Like all true geeks, that means we want to stay inside where it is air conditioned - there is no better sunscreen than a roof and four walls between you and that hot, burning, fiery ball of death in the sky.  Or you can be like the mundanes and actually head outside (but guess what - you can play games in the *shudder* sunlight as well).  Yes, I'm a little early this time - but that is because we have so much going on at the beginning of the month that I don't want you to miss it.

As scheduled, the Deadzone errata and FAQ have arrived, and have fixed several issues (and hit the zombie horde with a nerf bat to the face several times).  It is nice to see such quick responses to issues.

If you aren't familiar with the new Deadzone - you should come by The Hobby Shop on Saturday, July 2nd between 1 and 5 pm for demos of the new system.  See how clean and fast the game now plays.  The new repackaged Asterians and brand new Veer-Myn are now shipping from Mantic, and July will see the release of the repackaged Rebs and Marauders (leaving only the Plague to come).

For those feeling the need for a Kings of War fix and frustrated that our regular Monday evening gaming is canceled because of the Independence Day holiday - well fear not.  On July 9th, the Hobby Shop is participating in the US/International Kings of War Campaign Day.  This is a day where people all over the US (and 5 other countries as well) will be playing scenarios simultaneously, and each game will affect the next both regionally and globally.  The fun starts with checkin at 11 (the first game is at noon) and lasts until 9 pm.  You will need to bring army lists of various sizes - 1000, 1500 and 2000 pts, with a 200 and a 300 point potential "side board".  For full details, check out our event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1038374479583167/ .

If you have been hiding under a rock lately then you may not have heard that Dreadball is getting a new edition - with a "mini" kickstarter in July (most likely only 2 weeks).  The plan is for a new boxed set with two new teams, abd a consolidated rule set with all the teams.  Discussions are ongoing as to how the consolidated rles will be set up - but it will definitely be less than the six books now required to get all the rules and teams for the game.

Warpath continues its public beta-testing.  You can download the latest versions of the rules either on Facebook or the Mantic forums (new ones are posted every two weeks).  The final update is scheduled for July 25th for proofreading, with final amendments sent to the printers on August 1st.  The Firefight play testing looks to be finished with the final changes sent off at the end of May.  Shipping for the kickstarter will now be in two waves due to some delays with some of the hard plastic models - however the good news is the GCPS Mule will now be hard plastic instead of resin!  So expect a package in September, and another first quarter of 2017 with GCPS Troopers, GCPS & Plague Mule, GCPS & Plague Hornet, Veer-myn Tunneller, Asterian Chira and Forge Fathers Hultr.  Mantic has reopened the pledge manager until July 3rd to allow you to get even more vehicles, as well as order unit bases (if you want).

If there is anyone else patiently (or not so patiently) waiting to get their missing Dungeon Saga kickstarter components - Mantic has finally said that they expect to be assembling and shipping out the missing pledges the first week of July.  In addition the next set of digital releases for Dungeon Saga are coming in July as well.

For those who can't get enough Zombies, the walking dead game is coming along nicely.  Pictures of the barricades, cars, Sherriff's Badge and supply markers were posted on kickstarter.  This is the first kickstarter that Mantic's new COO has done, and it looks like fulfillment of this will be the best ever, and from what I have seen many of the issues they have had in the past should NOT occur with this one. I can't help but wonder how the retail versions are going to look.

Origins last month was fantastic - the Ohio War Kings ran 14 events with total participation of 114 players, including 14 in the Kings of War tournament!  It was a great time.  Check my blog if you want to see details or pictures.

Speaking of the Ohio War Kings - there are a few tote bags and messenger bags available for $15 and $20 each with the Ohio War Kings logo - let me know if you are interested in one.  I really like the messenger bags as they are a great way to carry your books, army lists, dice, tape measures, etc. for games, leaving your hands free to carry your miniatures.  The totes can be used to carry snacks, water, groceries, or the pipes and bungie cords for your demo cart (you mean everyone doesn't have a demo cart?).

Gencon is a short month away, and looks to be a great time as well.  We currently have 21 out of 24 tickets sold for the Kings of War tournament, so if you are quick there is still room to get in. Make sure you check out the tournament pack at http://blog.untilsomebodylosesaneye.net/p/gencon-2016.html for all the rules (including our version of the COK rules) and deadlines (Submitting your army list by 8/1/16 at 7:00 am will earn you 5 bonus tournament points).  If you aren't ready for a tournament - bring your 1000 pt army and join in the mega battle on Thursday night.  You can Learn to Play Kings of War at one of our ten sessions Thursday, Friday and Sunday.  Or just come by and say "Hi" and see how much of a voice I still have.  The Ohio War Kings will again be running these events, but this time under the official "Mantic" banner.

So far we have had very little feedback on moving our game night - only five people have responded, but so far Friday is the more popular of nights, though far from overwhelmingly so.  We won't be changing until fall, so still stop by Mondays at 6 pm at the Hobby Shop for Kings of War or other games (if you want to play other games just let me know and I'll bring them - we have actually been doing a lot of Deadzone on Mondays lately).

I am still cranking away at my blog - I am trying to post at least twice a week (Monday and Thursday evenings), with occasional breaking news.  If you want to stay up to date on the latest news (that I am allowed to share (or at least haven't been told not to share)), see pictures of events or the occasional hobby tips, then check it out.

Because it is all fun and games . . .  http://blog.untilsomebodylosesaneye.net/

Mike Carter
Your friendly local Mantic pathfinder:

Monday, June 27, 2016

The campaign is coming, the campaign is coming


In another dimension lays a world different from our own, where gods mingle with the creations below them. Good and evil are defined in shades of gray. And race divides the sentient, not by mere colors of skin, but by fur, horns, scales and even wings. In this land, for most, war is not a quest for glory and gain, but a quest for survival.

This is the world of Mantica.
.
In velvet darkness, beyond the peering eyes of mortals, two beings stare into each other’s eyes. Blood, not red but silvery light, lazily dances down their bodies from gashes and cuts throughout their torsos, arms and legs. Weapons still held firm in the grips of their hands.
Once again, the immortals lunge at each other, colliding in balls of energy. Weapons ring like bells through the universe, alerting gods across space and time of their discourse and enmity.
Only one will win…the other will die.

The gods feel the staring eyes of an audience as other immortals draw near in curiosity. But, they know, should they lose focus, it will be they who perish.

Muscles and sinew strong enough to lift entire mountains upon their back now grow weary. Their once feather-like weapons grow heavy in their hands. A divine shield, now an anchor to an arm, is slow to rise to parry their opponent’s long blade striking high…the top rim arrives too late…the blade dips into a skull which no mortal could penetrate. Yet, this is no mortal blade and the blade dives deep.

A flash of light is released that can be seen throughout the universe. A sword slips from a dying hand…a helmet falls from a bloodied head…a shield slides from a lifeless grip. Immortal hands rip a breastplate from a fading torso.

A god like this is never truly destroyed, merely prevented from healing. A blade slices both arms at the shoulders, both legs from the torso…the head from the neck.
The pieces are hurled to the farthest reaches of the world below and a vow from victorious lips swears to never allow them to meet again.
.
In the evening, eyes of different color and shape, spread across the continent, gaze with wonder at the small lights glowing in the darkness. The lights move slowly in the sky, marking the seasons of change, only noticeable to a trained eye in the ways of cosmology and the reading of the stars. But tonight, yes, tonight, some of those lights are moving, shifting…colliding…FALLING. Tonight those curious eyes looking up at the night sky that span the continent, they see something different. Glowing balls of fire cast down from the gods above.

One crashes into a deep forest, another into a lake, yet another tears into the side of a mountain. Ten in all, fly to meet their destiny with the surface of Mantica.

Are the gods themselves once again bringing their war to this world?

Or, is it as written, that the power of the gods will shift to the mortal beings of this world…to those who find their secrets first?



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So what, exactly, is this?  Several TO's thought of this before Adepticon, and have since pushed it so that there are more than 32 sites world wide, including six countries and 19 states.  All eight regions of the US Masters are represented.

The campaign is designed to be interactive, where every location means something. A location can be as small as 2 players playing in their basement to as large as could fit in a stadium!

Each location will have a "location leader" who has access to input the results of the wins for Good and wins for Evil in a Google spreadsheet doc that we've already created.

Based on the results, bonuses for each region and the campaign overall are given to the "winning sides" going into the next round. Some bonuses will remain on units for the rest of the campaign. In the end, the winner of the final game WINS the campaign.

CCX 56 - US Day of Gaming - July 9th



Schedule Start Times based on North American Time Zones:

  • 12:00PM – 9:00PM: East Coast
  • 11:00AM – 8:00PM Central
  • 10:00AM – 7:00pm Mountain
  • 9:00AM – 6:00PM: West Coast
  • 1st Scenario : 1 Hour Scout Scenario; 1k
    • 15 minute cutoff – (participating groups check in for tabulation)
  • 2nd Scenario : 1 Hour “Take the Terrain” Scenario; 1k
    • 2:15pm EST – “Lunch” 1 Hour 3:15pm EST (participating groups check in for tabulation)
  • 3rd Scenario : 1.5 Hour “Modified Loot” Scenario 1.5k 
    • 15 minute break - (participating groups check in for tabulation)
  • 4th Scenario : 2 Hour “Modified Invade” 2k
    • 15 minute break - (participating groups check in for tabulation)
  • 5th Scenario : 1:45 “Modified Last Stand”; 1.5k 
    • Also prepare a 200 point and 300 point potential “side board”
  • End of the event - participating groups report in for final results.


Dayton Ohio Event - this is the one I'll be heading up.  So everyone come out

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I, for one, welcome our new undead overlords!

The Ahmunites are coming!  The Ahmunites are coming!

But I thought this was the Empire of Dust?  Don't be confused - Ahmunites are the name of the people whose corpses make up the Empire of Dust (much like the various Kingdoms of Men).

The Empire of Dust has arrived. Well at least it is starting to come into the Mantic warehouse.  Boxes have been spotted, the painters are almost complete, and the army is off at the end of the week for photography.
boxes of empire of dust in the mantic warehouse
Mantic is gearing up for the release - their COO even changed the Kings of War Fanatics banner to help to get things pumping.

I should have recognized the beautiful, clean style of the paint job - as I've seen his stuff so many times before.  One of my favorite painters - Brandon Palmer of GMM Studios did the paint job and the display.  I found a picture from Mengel Miniatures of the entire army on display.

Brandon is known for his awesome armies - like the Monty Python Ogres and the Rhyme of the Marianburg Merchant.- check out his gallery of displays (and I was foolish enough to think I ever stood a chance competing against him, even with the gimmick of giving away free beer on tap on my display).  Not only that, but he paints up the charity raffle army given away every year at Adepticon. His displays are also fantastic - his cart for his Ogres was what gave me the idea for a cart to hold my beer keg.  I am really enthused that Brandon is working with Mantic.  I don't know many painters, but he is one that can really make a model look fantastic.

But honestly, that isn't what you want to see.  It is the minis in the flesh, well bones, that you want.
a shot of the army
The enslaved guardians look to be a huge hit with people - coming with variations to have 2 handed weapons or huge crossbows.  The pictures of the painted models make my mouth water - well it would if the desert weren't drying it out already.

with crossbows
and two handed weapons
The skeleton warriors are just as bad ass as the guardians.  In the past their hybrid (i.e. plastic and metal) have not been that exciting for most people, but these are just looking better and better.  Using the existing plastic legs, with new metal bodies and heads.
skeleton warriors
The archers look just as good as the warriors
skeleton archers

another unit of skeleton archers
The balefire catapults put some long range firepower.  This is an easy one - they simply changed the front piece of the catapult and one of the crew.
Of course to complete the ranged attacks, you need artillery
I'll be honest - I haven't been a big fan of Mantic's mummy sculpts - but Brandon makes me want some!  (And they are also and excellent unit stat wise - my son runs them in his undead army with great success).
mummies - much improved
You need revenants to give some punch to you battle line as well.
Two handed weapons or better armor - which do you choose?
Of course you need some heroes to support your troops



I can't do him justice - check out his Facebook page for the army yourself.

He tweeted some in-progress pictures of the display (if you are like me and want to see a bit of what goes on behind the curtain):

The start of the tomb before any painting
some basecoats
and the finished display

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Good, The Bad and Origins 2016

So another Origins is done.  This one had some pretty big high points, as well as a few lows.


Our newly formed (forming) gaming club, the Ohio War Kings, ran fourteen events at Origns this year.  My thanks go to Jon Carter, Donnie Harville, Jason Herald, Amy Stamper (with assistance from her wife Kara Brown) and Lee Wygant for helping out this year.  We hope to make our area even bigger and better next year with more events (did someone say Warpath?).  Also thanks to Kyle Przlenski of the Master Crafted youtube channel for the excellent artwork for our banner to help identify our area.  Now we just need an orc warlord facing to the left to give the king something to be staring at.
I really love our banner

Overall

I've heard and said it myself, you go to Origins to play games, you go to Gencon to buy games.  The games went great, but some of the organization this year was a bit lacking.  Badge pickup on Wednesday was horrendous - we stood in line over an hour and a half to pick up our pre-register badges.  The print on demand system simply could not keep up.

In previous years, GM's would pick up their badges and packets at the GM Headquarters, so we would avoid lines not just for ourselves, but for our entire group.  This year they put us in "gen pop" - so all of my GM's had to wait in line, and afterward I STILL had to go to GM HQ to pick up my packet.  Preprinting the badges and putting them in the packets should be simple enough, and worked great in past years.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center is undergoing renovations this year, so the construction was a bit annoying (but it did mean we were moved up a bit, so not quite as far away as before.  The most annoying part about the construction was the food court being closed for Wednesday and Thursday evenings, making it much more difficult to get a quick bite.

On Saturday there was a huge gay pride parade right in front of the GCCC.  I generally have no problem with this - however it lasted for HOURS.  My youngest son (though the fact that he is taller than I am and 21 makes that phrase sound weird) wanted to head to the North Market for lunch - but could not because of the parade going on between us and the market.  However much worse was that during this event all the parking for at least a mile around the GCCC was full - so I had one of the top local players (who happens to live in Columbus) have to turn around and go home because he could not get a parking place to attend the tournament.  Not good, not good at all.

The last disappointment was the lack of any vendors selling Mantic product.  Apparently the Game Room from Toledo (the bits guy) had a little bit - but he sold it all by 11 am Thursday (a lot to other dealers on Wednesday before the exhibit hall even opened).  Once again I had several people ask where to buy the game, and were very frustrated that hey could not get it at the convention.

I am not a businessman (and don't want to be).  I don't know the total cost to have a booth (it looks like a 10' x 10' booth can cost up to $1000).  Plus paying for transportation and food for a couple of people (Joe and Pat), and the cost of shipping product can all add up.  It does seem that they should be able to work with an existing store that has a booth to make sure they have product available.  In the past it seems they have pushed the 'next big game' on retailers instead of what is being demo'd at the show, and that, to me, is a mistake.  People who come out of a Kings of War demo are not going to be interested in Deadzone, and will want Kings of War product.

I feel it was a great show.  I still had something of a voice left afterward, which is in itself a success.  In total we had 114 people who played a total of 74 games (combined Kings of War, Dreadball and Deadzone, including the two tournaments) over the five days of the convention (and over the five days I actually did not play a single game myself).  Of course I am already thinking of next year.  And Gencon in six weeks.

I managed to meet old friends, make new ones, and talk about games all weekend.  Even though I'm exhausted, I'm also pretty pumped up.  But enough about this - how about the events?

Kings of War Tournament

We had a great turn out for our tournament - with a total of 14 players.  (Thanks to Mark Zielinski for getting pictures of the winners (though it just reminds me why I try to stay BEHIND the camera).

A motley crew if ever there was one!  Chris W, Roger, Mike, Jason, Kara, Erich, Amy, Lee, Jesse, Jon, Chris C, Travis, Tim and Duane
The event went almost perfectly.  There were some very minor issues with a couple of games not using chess clocks (and both those games ended up running late).  I think I will need to have some sort of enforcement penalty from now on if I find a table NOT using chess clocks (we had the same issue at Adepticon)).
Round one under way with a simple Kill scenario to get thing started

Duane Moore v. Kara Brown

Erich Trowbridge v. Chris Whitehead

Amy Stamper v Mike Moyer

Battle of the pathfinders - Lee Wygant v Jesse Cornwell

Tim Beard v Chris Carmichael

Jon Carter v Travis Huff

Jason Herald v Roger Conner
 Of course we had some beautiful armies, with only two that were not fully painted.

Lee Wygant's Undead army

Chris Carmichael's Undead

Tim Beard played Jon Carter's Undead

Roger Connor's winning Orcs

Jason Herald played my Abyssal Dwarfs

Travis Huff's Elves

Jon Carter's Best Appearance winning Forces of Nature

Mike Moyer's Ogres

Amy Stamper's Dwarfs

Jesse Cornwall's Goblins

Erich Trowbridge's Orcs

Chris Whitehead's Ogres

Duane Moore's Ratkin

Kara Brown's Abyssal Dwarfs

Round 2 (Dominate) under way

Tim v Roger

Duane v Amy

Battle of the Chris's - Chris W v Chris C

Erich v Kara

Jason v Travis

Jon v Jesse

Lee v Mike

Round 3 - Pillage!

Chris C v Jason

Spouse on spouse - Kara v Amy keeping it all in the family

Duane v Travis

Jon v Roger

Mike v Chris W

Jesse v Erich

Lee v Tim
I decide to splurge and get plaques with our new club logo on them.  My plan was just four awards - but then the organized play pack had five certificates - and if I didn't give them away then they would be wasted, so I used those (and the Blaine of course) as well.

I gave out the prize support as door prizes - so we had eight people walk away with new toys.
Overall Champion Awards
Best General Awards
Third Place certificate
Most Sporting awards
Best Appearance awards
And the winners:
Roger Connor - Overall Champion (and winner of the Blaine trophy)
Amy Stamper - Best General
Kara Brown - Third (battle points)
Jon Carter - Best Appearance
Jesse Cornwell - Most Sporting
You can check out the final results on warscore.

Dreadball Tournament

For the dreadball tournament we had four players.  With this few, we did a three round-robin rounds (so everyone played each other), then ended with an Ultimate game - so again everyone played everyone.

Andrew Wodzianski‎ ended up snatching victory with a big win in the Ultimate game with his Mutant team, squeaking by Geoff who in the bottom for that game, despite winning all three individual games).  He also won Best Appearance.

Jon Carter surprised everyone winning Bloodiest Coach with his Koris team (we all expected Andrew's Mutants to do that).

Geoff Burbidge won Fan Favorite with his Tsudochan team.  

David Baker's borrowed my Kalyshi team to try something different, but didn't manage to win anything, and had to leave before the final Ultimate tournament.

Geoff Burbidge v David Baker, and Andrew Wodzianski v Jon carter in Round 1
Jon v Dave and Andrew v Geoff in Round 2
Geoff v Jon  and Dave v Andrew for round 3
Andrew, Jon and Geoff in the fourth round Ultimate game.
The coaches - Geoff, Andrew and Jon (Dave had to leave unfortunately)
Andrew got a few great pictures of the event:

I don't think Andrew is excited enough about winning his Blaine
Frenzy in the Ultimate game

Geoff also got some great gameplay pictures

Tsudochan v Mutants
Owww - my head hurts
Kalyshi gready to face Tsudochan
Tsudochan are not going to make it easy for the Kalyshi to score
Mutants v Tsudochan
Lone jack facing striker and guard
Tsudochan starting game against the Mutants
Heading through a portal
Koris guards
Ultimate game in progress
Tsudochan blocking the scoring hex up in Ultimate
Mutants putting the hurt on tsudochan

Mega Battle

Once again Origins hosted a Kings of War Mega-battle, and once again Good wins the day.  We had a full house this time with twelve players battling it out and having a great time.

Battle get started, with forces of good on the left and evil on the right

Kara Brown charges the demon lord with her slave orcs
Surveying the situation
Everyone having a great time
We had some people stopping by to watch as well
Good gloating over their victory over evil

Learn to Play Kings of War

We hosted 11 Learn to Play Kings of War sessions.  It seems that no matter what, we always have a session for which no one shows up - but overall attendance was just over last year.  But not only did we have people at our scheduled events, we also had several come by at other times and either ask for us to run our demo for them, or to just get in another game with the demo armies.  In total 82 people played 41 games of Kings of War over the tournament.

One of our busier sessions
Mike Moyer, Origins area manager and Kings of War player
Trying to show all our banners and area
Our biggest session - 5 of the 6 tables full
The convention is just waking up at 8:00 am, but we have players learning the game

One of my favorite players from last year, Erin (in the green) will always be "socks" to me (she had the cool socks showing the signing of the declaration of independence last year) came back to play with her friends (her druid cosplay was pretty cool as well).
A blast from the past - Erin's socks from last year ( )


Jon drew a crowd at his table for during his 8:00 am session on Sunday morning
Lee doing an unscheduled demo
Can we get a game in?

Paint - n - Take

Mark Zielinski, the Counter Charge podcast and the Ohio War Kings did four free Paint-n-Take sessions with Mantic miniatures.  There were elves, dwarfs, ghouls and orcs available for people to come and paint - and then take the miniature home with them.  Several of the sessions were packed, and there were many first time painters who greatly enjoyed their first miniature.
Ready to go!
Painting their first minis after learning to play Kings of War
The level of concentration is intense
Even an occasional experienced painter stopped by once in a while
These sessions can also be good to learn new techniques

Deadzone

I just happened to have my copy of Deadzone with me, and it was a good thing I did.  We ended up doing several unscheduled Deadzone demos over the weekend (and our neighbors, the 40KOrigins folks, were also doing some).  We had several people very impressed with the smooth game play from this new edition as opposed to the last.  One of the demos was to a Canadian retailer that wasn't sure if he wanted to carry the game before he tried it, and is now planning on stocking it now that he sees how quickly it plays and how much fun it is.

Ready go go for a demo
Tim is learning from Jon
And that is Origins 2016 for the Ohio War Kings.  See you at Gencon!

Because it is all fun and games . . .